Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have a clone of yourself? It would definitely be bizarre watching yourself grow up all over again. In order to obtain that copy of yourself, human reproductive cloning would have to take place. Human reproductive cloning is the process of taking genetic material from a person, and using it to make an embryo, in the hopes that it will develop properly, and in the end become a child. The beginnings of what we today refer to as cloning, actually go back to the early part of the twentieth century1901 to be exact. Hans Spemann (1869-1941) was a German embryologist who was a professor of zoology (1919-1935) at the University of Freiburg. In 1901, he split a 2-cell newt embryo into two distinct parts, successfully producing two different larvae (Thompson). Recently, the issue of human cloning came to the public's attention when scientists from the Roslin Institute announced they had successfully cloned "Dolly," the sheep, in February 1997. Dolly and other cloned animals were produced with nuclear transfer technology. Scientists remove the nucleus of an egg retrieved from a female animal. They replace it with the nucleus taken from a cell from the animal they want to clone. The cell could come from the skin or almost any other part of the body. DNA in the nucleus contains hereditary instructions for the new individual. Next, scientists manipulate the egg to make it begin developing into an embryo (Woods). Four years after Dolly was produced, a Time/CNN poll found that 90% of all Americans opposed cloning humans (Ethics of
). So why if human cloning sounds like such a hot idea, do 90% of Americans oppose it? Undoubtedly it's the moral and ethical ramifications that surround cloning. Understand that cloning is not like popping an embryo in the microwave for five minutes, and then "voila", a clone is produced. Rather, it takes a large number of "attempts", or shall we say "failures" before a clone is born successfully. And what of the clone once it is born. If we use the experiment in Roslin as an example, five of the sheep born successfully, died within 10 days of birth of severe abnormalities (Ethics of
). Also one needs to take into account the psychological well being of the clone, once it is born. While you are looking at your clone, you are in essence looking at yourself, and visa versa. Imagine the struggle for uniqueness, and loss of identity that a clone has as a result of being a duplicate of someone else. Another big concern with human reproductive cloning is the possibility of abuse of this new technology. For instance, could Hitler have accomplished his master race through the practice of eugenics, the study of methods of improving genetic qualities by selective breeding especially as applied to human mating, or this case, manufacturing? In this paper I shall argue that human reproductive cloning should remain banned. First I will address the lack of perfection in the reproductive cloning process, which results in a loss of life, and birth defects. Second, the psychological well being of a human clone would be compromised. And finally, the threat of abuse. The first argument looks primarily at problems with non-human reproductive cloning. The argument analyzes and considers these problems that will potentially apply to human reproductive cloning as well. Considering the sheer loss of life that occurred before the birth of Dolly, one might contemplate the possible physical damage that could be done if human reproductive cloning did in fact become a reality. What would a successful cloning experiment be defined as? Scientist often downplay the fact that the cloning failure rate is extremely high. It took 277 stillborn, miscarried or dead sheep to make one Dolly. Before they died, 19 of the embryos were considered healthy, while the others were discarded. Five of those 19 survived, but again, four of them died ten days after birth due to...
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